Author : Tim Crosby

I am weeping in the burned rubble that used to be my home, in the ash that used to be my hometown.

Every day I look for other survivors. I have not seen anyone else in over five weeks – and even that was just a fleeting glimpse of silhouettes in the distance.

I cry because, when the chrome monstrosities screamed down from the sky, I did nothing. As my town was razed, I hid. While my wife and child were slaughtered, I ran away.

The hulking metal thing still sits in the center of town, watching and waiting. It wakes up now less and less frequently, as the number of survivors dwindles. Every time it wakes up, I feel the pangs of guilt and failure.

That saying from before this apocalypse still holds: you need others. Not much else applies anymore, but that much is true. I find it hard to sleep at night, knowing there are other survivors out there.

I still come to this place of my failure because it’s at the top of a hill; it’s the best place to see others before they can see you. Yet sometimes I am overwhelmed by my own failure, and I cry. Like now.

There is a crunch of a boot on gravel behind me. I wipe my tears and turn to see another human. We lock eyes for a brief moment, then I stand.

The combat is short and fierce. We are both desperate. Though I am bloodied and bruised, I am victorious. As I raise the other survivor’s head – no, as I raise my trophy – I let out a long ululation.

I begin making my way to the monstrosity. When I show it my prize, my masters will let me inside.


Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows

%d bloggers like this: